Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday said China is “within its right” to use concentration camps to detain Muslim Uighurs on the western part of the Asian nation, according to the Telegraph.
"China has the right to carry out anti-terrorism and de-extremization work for its national security,” Salam told Chinese state media after signing a number of deals that will strengthen Saudi Arabia’s trade relationship with the Asian giant.
Chinese president Xi Jinping reportedly told the prince must work together on de-radicalization to “prevent the infiltration and spread of extremist thinking”.
China has detained approximately one million Uighur Muslims, most of whom are ethnic Turks, in concentration camps, where they are subject to re-education programs.
Saudi Arabia is following on the steps of other Middle Eastern countries, which have softened their criticism of China after stepping up their economic ties to Beijing. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for example, previously decried China's treatment of Uighurs as "genocide" but has continued to strengthen Turkey’s diplomatic and economic relations with the Asian country.
This group previously appealed to prince Salman to support their cause, but the request has gone largely unanswered. Saudi Arabia has been traditionally known as a defender of Muslims across the world.